Shakespeare in Africa

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 48

When the British came to colonize the African continent in the middle of the 1800s, they brought Shakespeare with them. But after the British left power, it was often Shakespeare who leaders in African countries summoned to push back against the colonial experience — using his words to promote unity, elevate native languages, and critique the politics of the time.
Barbara Bogaev interviews Jane Plastow, Professor of African Theatre at the University of Leeds and co-editor of African Theatre 12: Shakespeare in and out of Africa. Also featured in this podcast episode are Nigerian playwright Femi Osofisan, Kenyan playwright and novelist Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, and Tcho Caulker, a Sierra Leonean-American professor in the English Department at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. © May 17, 2016. Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This episode, “I Speak of Africa,” was produced by Richard Paul.  Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington.  

Thanks to Caleen Sinette Jennings, David Schalkwyk, and Barbara Caldwell at UC-Irvine. We had help with recording from Gareth Dant at the University of Leeds, independent producer George Lavender, Ray Andrewsen at WQUN radio in Hamden, Connecticut, and Babatunde Ogunbajo at Midas Touch Studios in Ibadan, Nigeria.